Feeling great from head to toe can be as simple as keeping your gums healthy. It will dramatically lower your risk of memory problems, joint pain, diabetes and heart disease. What’s more, research in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology reveals that keeping gums healthy lowers the risk of COVID complications by 73 percent!
Swap your swish.
Calendula, a flowering plant also known as pot marigold, has antibacterial properties that defend against gum problems — and speed healing if you already have them. In a Journal of Clinical Periodontology study, using a calendula-based mouthwash lessened gum bleeding and inflammation by 63 percent within two weeks. For a DIY rinse, stir 1⁄2 tsp. of liquid calendula extract into 2 tsp. of water, then swish after brushing. Try: Nature’s Answer Calendula ($8.99, iHerb.com).
Rub gums with this.
Massaging gums with 1⁄4 tsp. of olive oil twice daily reduces painful inflammation and bleeding by 68 percent within three weeks, Indian scientists say. Gently rubbing the antimicrobial oil into gums boosts circulation to stimulate the body’s immune system.
Soak up summer.
Enjoy a daily half-hour walk to view summer blooms, and your gum disease risk will drop by up to 74 percent. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Dentistry found the benefit in folks who exercised at a moderate level for 30 minutes five times per week. Exercise tames gum-damaging inflammation plus curbs stress, a risk factor for gum disease.
Enjoy a fruity sip.
Sweet-tart cranberry juice keeps gums healthy. University of Rochester scientists say the fruit’s phytochemicals curb the ability of plaque-causing bacteria to stick to gums by as much as 85 percent. Plus, sipping two cups daily boosts your vitamin C intake by 47 mg., an amount Korean researchers say reduces gum disease risk by 30 percent.
Savor fish skewers.
Eating two servings of tuna, salmon or mackerel each week lowers the odds of gum problems by 30 percent, Harvard scientists say. Fatty acids such as EPA and DHA found in fish protect gum tissue against breakdown caused by troublesome oral bacteria.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.